Race Day Anxiety So Much More than the Jitters

CGAS Cape Code 5K - 1985
CGAS Cape Code 5K – 1985

A lot of you out there will not understand what the big deal is about race day anxiety.

You probably think of it as just bad case of pre-race jitters and are thinking – “get over it, running in a race is not a big deal – look at how many runners do all the time.

Well you are wrong.

If you have truly experienced an race day anxiety attack and an attack is what it is.

It is debilitating, embarrassing and not just just that you can simply “get over” and go run your race.

How do I know?

I ran one race in 25 years, because of how race day anxiety made me feel about running in a races.

Where did it start?

Continue reading “Race Day Anxiety So Much More than the Jitters”

#RealHealth – The Three Pillars of Overcoming Self-Doubt


Typically every Tuesday, I have a blog post published on Anthem’s Real Health Blog. I believe that readers here might be interested in my and the other contributors writing and vlogging, so I will be providing a link here on A Veteran Runnah, to the posts after they are published.

The Three Pillars of Overcoming Self-Doubt

Pillars for reducing stressIn most material on how to train for a marathon or how to get fit or, even more generally, how to get and stay healthy, I find something specific missing.

This something has nothing to do with exercise techniques or weight loss tips. This something has to do with overcoming self-doubt, those nagging (and stress inducing) thoughts that try to tell you that a goal is too lofty. Wait, not just overcoming self-doubt

Since I am having a tough time with self-doubt during this winter season, I thought it would be helpful to have a discussion about how these negative thoughts come about and about how we can overcome them. I will have some tips for you and I am sure I can learn from you as well.

The origins of many thoughts of self-doubt

Click here to read more

If you have a minute, go check out the rest of the post. While you are there take a look around and see what the other fantastic Real Health contributors are writing about.
Other Contributors
Phyllis and Rosemary
Photo Credit:: Three pillars from Thinkstock.

Why I Have Not Raced All That Much

LHS Track Finish pic 4-28=12This post was a tough one to write, but I had to, since I think that I have finally figured out why I haven’t run in many races for several years.

I was going to run in a 5K Independence Day race and decided not to run the day before. Also I was going to run in a 5K trail race on Memorial Day weekend and half-marathon a couple of weeks ago. I pulled out of them as well for various reasons or excuses.


I didn’t pull out of these races because I was injured, because I have run more consistently this year than I have in many, many years. So that isn’t the reason.

Cost – might be part of the reason, but not totally. Like they say if you really want to do something badly enough you will find a way. If I really wanted to run in races I would find a way to afford the entry fees.

I like challenge of racing  and I enjoy the camaraderie of being around other runners.

Yet I decided to not run in each one of those races and haven’t raced very often, since 1986.

This is one of those things that I have always wondered about – why I didn’t race more or seemed to find reasons not to run, instead of finding reasons to run in races.

Since I have started running more longer runs it has given me time to think and this is one of the things I have thought about a lot. Yesterday, on my 8.0 miler, I think that I have finally figured out the “why” and hopefully that is a step to the solving the problem.

The real reason

Is the ultra-competitive side of me that takes racing far too seriously.

Yeah I am one of those people who gets so worked up before a race, that I feel like puking, have to push myself to stay and not get in my car and drive off. This is much more than pre-race “jitters” and looking back, it is why I quit racing back in the 80’s and mostly just ran for personal pleasure for so many years. I didn’t want to deal with my pre-race “anxiety” that affects me.

In the three races I have run this year, I experienced the “need” to leave as soon as I finished registering. Even though I didn’t leave – I really, really wanted to get out of there and do almost anything but stick around for those races. I persevered and I was able to get to the start of the races and once the gun went off – I had a lot of fun, got to meet a lot of great people, but looking back,  it was still damn hard to get to the starting line of each one of those races.

The reality is that

It is time to face my anxiety about running races, figure out some strategies to help me to register and then go to the race. If I can do this it will allow me to start enjoying a big part of the social side of running (which I believe that racing is a big part of), that I have missed out on for so many years.

Part of the Solution

I am going to run the Bond Brook Trail 5K Race series, which are a low-key, lower-cost series of races, which I plan to run all but one them over the course of the next couple of months.  Then on 8/11, I am going run the Doc and Mardie Brown 5K in Waterville. After that I would like to run one road race per month through November.

Notice I say I am doing, not planning to do these races. There is a huge difference.

Sometimes you need know what the problem is, before you can move forward towards resolving it.

Hopefully, I have figured it out.

Does anyone else out there feel this way about racing? What did you do to overcome it?